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Campbell Puts Porsche on Top in Thursday Evening Practice

Penske Porsche driver Matt Campbell goes quickest in night practice at Daytona…

Photo: Juergen Tap/Porsche

Matt Campbell went quickest overall for Porsche Penske Motorsport in a dry and largely trouble-free Thursday evening practice session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The Australian driver of the No. 7 Porsche 963 topped the charts with a time of 1:35.802 posted early in the one-hour, 45-minute track outing that ended at 9 p.m.

Three different LMDh manufacturers were represented in the outright top three, as Filipe Albuquerque went second-fastest for Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport.

The Portuguese driver ended up 0.172 seconds short of Campbell’s best effort, while Alex Lynn ranked third in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-LMDh.

All nine GTP cars took part in the third practice session of the event and two of them — the No. 02 Cadillac and the No. 6 Porsche — completed at least 50 laps.

The evening session gave the top-category teams their first chance to use Michelin’s low-temperature slick tire, after wet conditions affected the night session during last weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24.

Alexander Sims completed the overall top five for Cadillac squad Action Express Racing, one place ahead of Colton Herta in the No. 25 BMW M Hybrid V8.

Matthieu Vaxiviere set the pace in the all-Oreca LMP2 class for AF Corse, reeling off a 1:38.416 to beat PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports driver Alex Quinn to the top spot by 0.139 seconds.

In GTD Pro, Maro Engel submitted the category’s fastest lap of the day for the WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG squad.

The Mercedes-AMG factory driver produced a 1:46.011 effort and stood half a second clear of Lexus driver Jack Hawksworth who finished second in class.

Engel and Hawksworth were also separated by the top four in GTD, which was led by Mikael Grenier’s 1:46.177 attempt in the Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Rasmus Lindh made a series of improvements in the final half-hour to give Andretti Autosport’s Ligier JS P320 Nissan the best LMP3 lap time over Duqueine squad AWA.

The only major incident of the evening session was a red flag caused by Roberto Lacorte running wide and nosing his Cetilar Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 into the barriers at Turn 5.

Lacorte managed to bring the damaged Ferrari back to the pits with damage to the left-front corner.

The fourth Rolex 24 practice session is scheduled for 11:20 a.m. ET on Friday morning.

RESULTS: Practice 3

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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